Dr. Seuss Powers Ahead, With Newly Expanded Licensing in Europe

In News by Porter Anderson

The Seuss summer is an expansive one in Europe as Slovakia, Albania, and Germany open new licensing deals with the famous brand.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Kitchenware, Gifts, Books
It may be one long hot summer for many of us, but for the San Diego-based Dr. Seuss Enterprises, it’s shaping up to be a cool Christmas with new licensing announcements for Germany, Slovakia, and Albania.

New and renewed deals for properties from the legacy of author-illustrator Theodor Geisel include How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!, and Happy Birthday to You!—venerable sources, apparently, of the exclamation points that continue to jack up so many writings and marketing for overly stimulated children today.

The deals being announced this summer span multiple categories of publishing and merchandise, including books, kitchenware, and gift items.

Hagen-based Thalia, the German bookstore chain, has increased its product offerings in 2020 to include:

  • Snow globes
  • Cereal bowls
  • Plates
  • Slippers
  • Plush Grinches
  • Socks
  • Kitchen towels

Thalia is opting to expand its offerings in 2020, reportedly after having success with a 2019 How the Grinch Stole Christmas! program. As reported by License Global magazine, the 2019 gift collection marked the first time a major German retailer had launched a consumer products line based on Dr. Seuss outside of book publishing.

The Grinch Thalia launch was described then as part of a wider initiative led by WildBrain CPLG to extend the Dr. Seuss licensing program throughout parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Last year’s inaugural line at Thalia included Post-It Notes, metal buttons, enamel pins, gift bags, gift tags, gift boxes, cookie tins, ornaments, mugs, napkins, and travel tissue packs.

Bratislava’s Verbarium Publishing is to release How the Grinch Stole Christmas! in Slovakia.

Verbarium is a new publisher for Dr. Seuss Enterprises and marks the first time that one of its books will be published in the Slovakian market.

And Tirana-based Botart Publishing House, which has been producing Dr. Seuss titles since 2015, will add Happy Birthday to You! and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! to its list. These two books will bring the house’s Seuss total to seven titles.

Susan Brandt, president of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, is quoted in the company’s media messaging, saying, “The Dr. Seuss portfolio continues to resonate throughout Europe and we’re looking forward to bringing our fans new products and books that enable them to continue to engage with their favorite stories and characters within our portfolio.”

Dr. Seuss Enterprises was opened in 1993 (Geisel lived 1904 to 1991), and the company likes to quote him saying that he never wanted his work licensed to anyone who would “round out the edges” of is work.

The key site today for the Seuss empire is the Penguin Random House Seussville platform, which houses books, games, videos, and more—and directs users to an Amazon site for its own merchandise shop.

The 2019 Thalia Dr. Seuss holiday gift collection: promotional imagery for 2019. Image: Dr. Seuss Enterprises

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About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.